Highlights of This Report:
November 9, 2011 - As I mentioned in yesterday's report, BMW didn't have much new for 2012, having busted the development budget apparently for the 2011 release of the K 1600 GT and GTL, the G 650 GS and the Concept C scooter (now referred to as the C 600), which were all introduced at the 2010 EICMA show.
But BMW now owns Husqvarna, a relationship I find a little bit odd anyway. BMW/Husqvarna introduced the radical Mille 3 concept (report) last year, which now seems to be the forerunner of the recently released Husqvarna Nuda 900 and 900R (info, report) and they had another suprise this year: the Moab.
The bike has a vaguely familiar shape that hits a warm spot as soon as you see it -- doubly so for Americans, who will instantly recall three familiar motorcycle icons: Steve McQueen, the Triumph (and Honda) Scrambler from the '60's and who will also recognize the Moab name as a unique desert location in Utah associated with all three. This heritage is craftily exploited -- for better or worse -- in the official Husqvarna video, also included below.
Other than the stylized number plate weird headlight thing, I want one. It has big knobby tires on 17" wheels and a 650 cc single-cylinder engine from the also-nice, dual-sport 650TE (photo below). (Correction: From the BMW G 650 GS (report) actually).
Since the Mille3 reached production as the Nuda 900, perhaps the Moab will reach production next year as...the Moab? We can only hope -- the world needs more 650 cc simpler-is-better bikes.
Here's the Husqvarna press release (edited):
The Husqvarna Concept Moab is the modern re-interpretation of the scrambler, the bike that lies at the heart of the Husqvarna history and its unique style.
Tradition, style, and performance -- these are the features that captured the identity and shaped the history of the brand that became the model and reference point for all off-road bikes in the sixties and seventies. The Husqvarna Moab can trace its origins to our models from that period, legendary bikes that are milestones in the history of off-road biking, especially in the U.S.
This is one reason for the name Moab, after the evocative desert in Utah, which every year draws huge numbers of offroad bikers and provides the eerie background for the sets of many cult movies. The red tank, the spacious seat, the yellow side panel number holders, the simple stripped-down frame….these all form the essence of the new incarnation of the Husqvarna spirit.
The Husqvarna Concept Moab has a 650 cc engine on a perimeter frame and progressive linkage on the swingarm. The wheels are 17 inches and the tires are semi-knobby and therefore suitable for off-road use.
The overall design effect divides the bike into distinct sections: the tank, seat, the side panel number holders and the exhaust. The lines are fluid but combine to create a decisive form.
The shape of the tank blends with the seat and rear section, creating a fluidity and immediately distinctive style. This design feature follows the lead of the latest generation of Husqvarna models, such as the concave shape of the front and rear mudguards, and the front number holder.
Tradition and high-tech innovation are successfully blended in the details of the new Concept Moab; the digital instrument panel that is situated in the upper crossbar or the LEDs on the front number holder and the tail-light.
The colour scheme, down to every last detail, both in bodywork and mechanics, is taken from Steve McQueen's immortal H400. The unique form and colours give the Moab an exhilaratingly vintage look.
The riding position is comfortable and commanding, with high and wide handlebars, a bulky tank that the legs can hug with ease and the long seat that allows freedom of movement.
The end result is a cool bike, ideal for use both in the city and on dirt tracks, which is easy to ride and handle, even for female biking fans. Husqvarna created the off-road bike, and the Moab continues the tradition of setting new trends and styles in modern biking.
Publication Date: November 9, 2011
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